Emerging Entrants

Emerging Entrants

It is an exciting time in aviation, with innovative new aircraft expected to transform our skies. FAA is working to ensure these “emerging entrants” – a broad term describing evolving, non-traditional aircraft – are integrated into the national airspace safely and efficiently.

ATR’s research helps FAA develop guidance on emerging entrants and the new infrastructure they will require. In the near term, ATR’s work will help enable operations within our existing air transportation system. Looking forward, ATR’s work will help support fuller integration of emerging entrants.

Examples of entrants ATR is monitoring include:

Vertical Takeoff and Landing Aircraft (VTOL) and Short Takeoff and Landing Aircraft (STOL): Many are being designed to travel at lower altitude and within shorter range than traditional aircraft with passenger carrying in mind. STOL can make use of shorter runways, effectively increasing airport capacity while VTOL may use landing sites on and off airports.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS): Remotely operated or autonomous aircraft that range in size from small payload capabilitiesto increased capacity for extended missions or carrying passengers.

Commercial Spacecraft: Designed by private companies to increase commercial access to space (e.g., spacetourism, scientific experiments, satellite deployment ); Horizontal takeoff spacecraft will potentially use civilian airports for launching and landing.

Supersonic Aircraft: Long-range high-speed aircraft designed to travel faster than the speed of sound and have potential to significantly reduce travel times.

Emerging entrants present new operational challenges for our nation’s airports. For example, airports may need well designed vertiports that can accommodate frequent VTOL takeoffs and landings or charging stations for electric aircraft (eVTOL). Additionally, supersonic and commercial space aircraft may require specialized runways and firefighting equipment. ATR’s research helps address these new requirements and find ways to safely integrate emerging entrants into the national airspace.